`It is per­fectly pos­si­ble that Homo genus evolved in Asia'

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

BERNARD A WOOD is Univer­sity Pro­fes­sor of Hu­man Ori­gins at the Cen­tre for Ad­vanced Study of Hu­man Pa­le­o­bi­ol­ogy, Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity, USA. He was part of Richard Leakey's first ex­pe­di­tion to the Koobi Fora site in Africa in 1968. A med­i­cally trained palaeoan­thro­pol­o­gist, Wood speaks to AR­CHANA YA­DAV about al­ter­na­tive views on hu­man evo­lu­tion How do you make sense of the emerg­ing ev­i­dence of ho­minin pres­ence out­side Asia more than 2 mil­lion years ago? Signs of ho­minin ac­tiv­ity, 2.6 mil­lion years ago, have been re­ported in the Si­wa­lik Hills of In­dia and the age of fos­sil teeth at Long­gupo cave in China was re­vised to 2.48 mil­lion years ago. I was one of the peo­ple who orig­i­nally thought the Long­gupo mandible might be­long to a ho­minin, but I am in­creas­ingly per­suaded that it is a fos­sil of orang­utan. So I think the ev­i­dence from Long­gupo is not as com­pelling as some of us ini­tially thought.

I am not a bioar­chae­ol­o­gist but I know that the peo­ple who are fa­mil­iar with try­ing to an­a­lyse whether marks on bones are pro­duced by stone arte­facts re­main to be con­vinced that those marks are made by stone tools and not by

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